via Mnangagwa faction goes after Mugabe’s ‘obedient son’ – DailyNews Live 2 December 2014 by Lloyd Mbiba
HARARE – In a surprising turn of events, and as Zanu PF’s factional and succession battles climax ahead of the party’s “elective” congress this week, the faction aligned to Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa is turning its guns against Transport minister Obert Mpofu.
At the centre of this latest twist in the multi-faceted party ructions appears to be a dogfight for Zanu PF’s powerful post of national chairman, currently occupied by senior minister Simon Khaya Moyo and apparently also coveted by National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda.
Lapdog State media savaged Mpofu yesterday, accusing him of “unilaterally and unprocedurally” plotting to withdraw Mudenda’s central committee nomination in an alleged bid to advance his own campaign to land the party’s national chairmanship.
According to The Herald and the Chronicle newspapers, scores of placard-waving Zanu PF supporters from Mpofu’s Umguza constituency staged a demonstration in Lupane on Saturday denouncing Mudenda and fellow politburo member Sithembiso Nyoni ahead of an inter-district meeting.
But Mudenda’s own supporters apparently drew up their own placards targeting Mpofu, with some allegedly labelling him a “thief” and “part of gamatox” — a reference to embattled Vice President Joice Mujuru and her supporters.
“Fist fights broke out between the two groups and police had to be called, it is alleged by Cde Mpofu and a senior state intelligence officer,” the papers reported.
Ominously, the two dailies also reported that Mpofu could find himself answering charges of “gross misconduct for acting unilaterally and unprocedurally with clear pre-meditation in full view of the media which he invited” — pronouncements that virtually placed him in the same invidious position as Mujuru’s supporters currently find themselves in.
Efforts by the Daily News to get Mpofu to comment on the stunning developments yesterday were unsuccessful as he referred questions to Matabeleland North provincial chairman, Richard Moyo, whose phone was not reachable at the time of going to Press.
Mpofu often hilariously and dutifully signs his official letters to Mugabe as “your most obedient son”.
But Mpofu is said to have told party supporters at the weekend that he is being hounded by a “bunch of losers and unelectable people.”
Since controversial First Lady Grace Mugabe entered the political fray a few months ago, the self-proclaimed “wealthy” Mpofu has also seemingly gone out of his way to brown-nose her, and in the process appeared to align himself with the Mnangagwa faction.
The indications are that the Mnangagwa faction is backing Mudenda’s candidature for the party’s national chairman’s post, while unconfirmed reports say the First Family may have encouraged Mpofu to also go for the post.
Mudenda was fingered as having been part of the Tsholotsho Declaration in 2004, which allegedly sought to topple Mugabe from power then and caused so much angst within the party at the time.
And with the Mnangagwa faction in complete control of State media which has unleashed a brutal and deadly propaganda campaign against Mujuru and all those party bigwigs perceived to support her bid for presidency, Mpofu now appears targeted for the same savage battering by the State media.
“It is now a dog-eat-dog situation,” a politburo source told the Daily News yesterday, adding, “Mpofu and Mudenda no longer see eye to eye because both are eyeing the national chairman’s post.
“Mpofu has been attacking Mudenda, saying he is not funding the party and yet he wants power.
“In Lupane at the weekend, Mpofu’s supporters organised demos but Mudenda had also mobilised, so there was a clash.”
Speaking at a fundraising dinner last week in Victoria Falls, Mpofu slammed unnamed power-hungry senior party members who were failing to fund the party, remarks which appeared to have been directed at Mudenda.
He was quoted in the Zimbabwe Mail newspaper as saying, “They just run around until their trousers are torn doing nothing to build the party, but just seeking power.”